Science, Tech, Math › Science Isolated System Definition in Science Share Flipboard Email Print If this box were an isolated system, light would be unable to enter or exit. PM Images / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated December 07, 2019 An isolated system is a thermodynamic system that cannot exchange either energy or matter outside the boundaries of the system. There are two ways in which this may occur: The system may be so distant from another system that it cannot interact with them.The system may be enclosed such that neither energy nor mass may enter or exit. Isolated System Versus Closed System An isolated system differs from a closed system by the transfer of energy. Closed systems are only closed to matter, energy can be exchanged across the system's boundaries. Source Landsberg, P.T. (1978). Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. Oxford University Press. Oxford UK. ISBN 0-19-851142-6.